Agile Arts – a manifesto for 2011

I was asked today to predict how the arts will be in 2011. The more I think about it, the more I realise the model I trust, believe in and want to use is the one which I used to use in software development.  So this manifesto for Agile Arts (which will be developed further in 2011) is lifted almost word-for-word from the Manifesto for Agile Software Development:

Manifesto for Agile Arts

We are uncovering better ways of developing arts projects by doing it and helping others to do it.

Through this work we have come to value:

  • Individuals and interactions over processes and tools
  • Working projects over excessive administration
  • Creative collaboration over contracts, conditions and criticism
  • Responding to change over following a plan

That is, while there is value in the items on the right, we value the items on the left more.

We follow these principles:

  • Our highest priority is to satisfy our audiences through early and continuous delivery of valuable activity.
  • Welcome changing requirements, even late in a project. Agile processes harness change for the good of artists and their audiences.
  • Deliver activity and engagement with audiences frequently, from a couple of weeks to a couple of months.
  • Creatives and those that commission them must work together daily throughout the project.
  • Build projects around motivated individuals. Give them the environment and support they need, and trust them to get the job done.
  • The most efficient and effective method of conveying information to and within a development team is face-to-face conversation, but Twitter and other social media are a valuable support.
  • Arts activity is the primary measure of progress.
  • Agile processes promote sustainable development.
  • The people commissioning and those creating should be able to maintain a constant pace indefinitely.
  • Continuous attention to technical excellence and good design enhances agility.
  • Simplicity – the art of maximizing the amount of work not done – is essential.
  • The best arts projects emerge from self-organising teams.
  • At regular intervals, the team reflects on how to become more effective, then tunes and adjusts its behavior accordingly.
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2 thoughts on “Agile Arts – a manifesto for 2011

  1. Agility in some sense also means a sense of lightness and mobility. Should a portion of the creation process be quick, cheap, and mobile. This would allow the artist and the audience to test more experiences – many won’t be effective but some surprising things can be found only when we begin to search.

  2. Thanks Dan, This is Hilarious! As an agile software development enthusiast who is also an artist, I’ve often considered how a values based approach to work allows for change, renegotiation, listening to needs and continuous improvement. While I have a different take on the subject than you’ll illustrated here – I still enjoyed it and got a kick out of it. Will revisit to see where you’re headed with this. (BTW, just stumbled across your post while looking up another artist I know with the same name: Dan Thompson as I recently featured him on my blog)

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